When it comes to your beauty routine, very few things are free, but sleep costs nothing and may be the closest thing to a fountain of youth. Dr. Manish Shah is a Board-Certified Denver, Colorado plastic surgeon. A 2017 study found that two days of sleep restriction negatively affected participants ’ perceived attractiveness, health, sleepiness, and trustworthiness. Dr. Shah explains, “Your body repairs itself and recovers while you sleep, and that results in a long list of benefits for anti-aging and appearance.” Most experts agree that 7-9 hours a night is ideal. It’s time to maximize your shut-eye for anti-aging.
Here are Dr. Manish Shah’s tips for beauty sleep:
Sleep on Your Back
“Sleeping on your stomach or one of your sides means there is constant pressure on your face. Over time, this action will produce unwanted sleep lines. You can remedy this by sleeping on your back,” says Dr. Shah. This way you will not apply any pressure to your face. For many people though, this might be uncomfortable, and you can’t control your involuntary sleep movement leading you to a side or stomach position. You can practice and can get used to it over time.
Use an overnight product and put a glass of water on your bedside table Washing your face can dry it out and sleeping can also dehydrate skin, especially if you snooze in a low-humidity environment. While staying hydrated by drinking water can help to some extent, what your skin really needs at night is a topical moisturizer. For a more supercharged product, try an overnight sleeping mask.
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Pillowcases make a difference
Dr. Shah explains, “While facial creasing has a lot to do with sleep positioning, a change in pillowcase might be the answer. There are numerous benefits of silk for good sleep. Silk pillowcases are a great way to wake up creaseless in the morning. The smooth texture of silk is gentler than cotton and may help prevent sleep wrinkles, as well as reduce skin irritation. Its tightly woven fibers also don’t draw out moisture and natural oils as cotton does, leaving your skin better hydrated.”
Stay away from salty foods and alcohol around bedtime
If you’re craving a midnight snack or drink, be mindful. While some foods, a light, carb snacks like crackers or an apple, can actually help your sleep, many others can disrupt your sleep and wreak havoc on your appearance. Alcohol and salty food can have a dehydrating effect on the body. To compensate, your body starts collecting natural fluids around the eyes, among other places, leading to that dreaded puffy-eye look. Dehydration is claimed to lead to the formation of dark circles under the eyes.
Wear your hair up — but not in a tight bun.
It’s a good idea to keep your hair out of your face while you’re sleeping to keep its natural oils from wreaking havoc on your complexion. But avoid pulling it into a really tight bun or ponytail because that can cause hair breakage, especially around the hairline. Dr. Shah suggests wrapping it up in a scarf (silk would be ideal).
Keep makeup remover by the bed
“No matter how tired/drunk you are, going to bed with your makeup on will only be worse the morning after (clogged pores, irritated eyes, oily residue, etc.). Make it less of a chore by keeping some good-quality face wipes by the bed for a fast, effective cleanse. It’s not ideal to rely on convenience cloths every night in place of a deeper clean, but on late nights they’re skin saviors, says Dr. Shah.
Wear a silk sleep mask
Avoiding light when you sleep is crucial to getting quality rest. Dr. Shah explains, “An eye mask completely eliminates vulnerability to light, preventing it from interfering with your sleep. For the best results, use a silk eye mask. Since skin is susceptible to wrinkling, make sure that the material pressing against your face is as soft as possible.”
Keep the Temperature Low
At night, your body’s natural temperature declines. Keeping the temperature in your bedroom low is good for both your metabolism and your blood flow. Dr. Shah explains that “This is important because improving your blood flow helps oxygenate your skin, keeping it plump and even-toned for the day ahead.
Maintaining a cool temperature in your bedroom will also help reduce redness in your skin.” The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your bedroom between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for an optimal night’s sleep.